Anadromous Fishes of California's Central Coast Region

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Anadromous fishes migrate up rivers and streams from the ocean to reproduce.


Species & Distinct Population Segment
Common Name Scientific Name DPS Acronym CESA Status ESA Status
Steelhead (Rainbow Trout) Oncorhynchus mykiss Central California Coast Steelhead [1] STCCC Threatened [2]
South-Central California Coast Steelhead [3] STSCC Threatened [2]
Southern California Coast Steelhead [4] STSCA Endangered [2]
Coho Salmon (Silver) Oncorhynchus kisutch Central California Coast Coho Salmon [5] COCCC Endangered [6] Endangered [2]


The steelhead subspecies present in the CCC region are divided into three Distinct Population Segments (DPS).: Central California Coast Steelhead[1] (STCCC), South-Central California Coast Steelhead [3] (STSCC), and Southern California Coast Steelhead [4](STSCA).


brief description of them in the region


link to steelhead page


Discuss their resilience and adaptability, then link to main steelhead page. LINK TO MAP


Describe current status

Brief mention of history

Discuss current recovery plans

Coho Salmon


brief description of them in the region


link to coho salmon page


Briefly describe their lower range and why their range is limited in the central coast region. LINK TO MAP


Describe significance of these populations, their threats here in the region, and reference the recovery plan.

Species Distributions in the CCCR [7]

Anadromous Populations in California's Central Coast Hydrologic Region [5][1][3][4]
Hydrological Feature COCCC STCCC STSCC STSCA
Gazos Creek X X
Waddell Creek X X
Scott Creek X X
San Vicente Creek X X
Laguna Creek X
San Lorenzo River X X
Soquel Creek X X
Aptos Creek X X
Pajaro River X
Salinas River X
Carmel River X
San Jose Creek X
Garrapata Creek X
Rocky Creek X
Bixby Creek X
Little Sur River X
Big Sur River X
Big Creek X
Limekiln Creek X
Prewitt Creek X
Willow Creek X
Salmon Creek X
San Carpoforo Creek X
Arroyo de la Cruz X
Little Pico Creek X
Pico Creek X
San Simeon Creek X
Santa Rosa Creek X
Villa Creek X
Cayuctos Creek X
Toro Creek X
Old Creek X
Morro Creek X
Morro Bay Complex X
San Luis Obispo, Pismo, and Arroyo Grande Creek X
Jalama Creek X
Santa Anita Creek X
Gaviota Creek X
Arroyo Hondo X
Tecolote Canyon X
Goleta Slough Complex X
Mission Creek X
Montecito Creek X
Carpinteria Creek X
Rincon Creek X

Chinook Salmon

Chinook salmon (Onchorhynchus tshawyatscha) are commonly called king salmon, and support substantial commercial and recreational (sport) fishing industries on the California coast. Anthropocentric factors have lead to a decrease in their abundance and diversity throughout California, with most individuals in remaining populations being of hatchery origin.

While there are no spawning populations of Chinook salmon in the CCC region, the Monterey Bay Salmon and Trout Project (MBSTP) participates in an annual stocking program with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to support local fishing industries. Juvenile salmon are transported (trucked) from Central Valley (Sacramento River Watershed) fish hatcheries to Monterey Bay and released as part of a state-wide hatchery supplementation strategy to abate fishing pressures on threatened and endangered stocks, and promote economic stability in local coastal communities.

Other Anadromous Species

Native Anadromous Species
Common Name Scientific Name Federal Status State Status
Pacific Lamprey Entosphenus tridentatus
Armored Threespine Stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus
Striped Bass Morone saxatilis

Species Information

Pacific Lamprey

Armored Threespine Stickleback

Striped Bass


Laws, policies, & regulations


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Final Coastal Multispecies Recovery Plan for the California Coastal Chinook Salmon, Northern California Steelhead and Central California Coast Steelhead. 2016. National Marine Fisheries Service.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Federal Endangered Species Act. 1973. United States Environmental Protection Agency.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 South-Central California Coast Steelhead Recovery Plan. 2013. National Marine Fisheries Service
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Southern California Steelhead Recovery Plan Summary. 2012. National Marine Fisheries Service.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Recovery Plan for the Evolutionarily Significant Unit of Central California Coast Coho Salmon. 2012. National Marine Fisheries Service.
  6. Listing of Endangered Species, California Endangered Species Act. 1970. California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW).
  7. [1]


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